RTIwala Trending Ben Stokes: Ben Stokes has had his contract with New Balance terminated. The knock-on effect from the scandal at the heart of English cricket has been continuing. The sports equipment manufacturer said it “does not condone behavior… that does not match our brand culture and values“. Thus, in ending its relationship with the England all-rounder, understood to be worth some £200,000 per year.
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New Balance’s decision was announced hours after Stokes apologized to Katie Price and her disabled son Harvey. A video had previously emerged of the Durham player impersonating the pair. The video came to light shortly after Stokes was placed under investigation by police. Stokes was arrested on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm following an incident outside a Bristol nightclub last month. It was announced that Ben Stokes would not travel to Australia with the rest of the England squad for this winter’s Ashes series. He shall wait to learn whether he will face criminal charges over the Bristol incident.
The 26-year-old, England’s vice-captain, has not been ruled out of the five-Test series which starts on November 23. However, the England and Wales Cricket Board will not consider him for selection until further notice. The Board awaits developments in the ongoing investigation by Avon & Somerset Police.
Ben Stokes, who is also subject to internal disciplinary action, has had his central contract renewed by the ECB since his arrest. Stokes issued his apology to Price and her 15-year-old son Harvey on Wednesday, prior to New Balance’s decision being made public.
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New Balance said in a statement: “New Balance does not condone behavior by our global athletes that do not match our brand culture and values, and therefore we have ended our relationship with Ben Stokes, effective October 11, 2017. We will not provide further comment.”
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Footage emerged last month of Stokes doing an impression of the first Price and then Harvey. In a statement released on Twitter, Stokes said: “Earlier this year I was shown a clip of Harvey being asked on ‘Loose Women’ how he responds to internet trolls.
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“I loved Harvey’s directness with his response – he said what most of us think but perhaps aren’t brave enough to say, let alone on live TV. I foolishly attempted to copy the clip after I saw it a few times. I should never have done this and I am so sorry.’’
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“It was absolutely not my intention to offend Harvey, Katie or anybody else. I have written to both Harvey and Katie to say sorry and prior to this offered to meet in person at the end of last month with a view to also getting behind their petition about online bullying. I do hope I can put this right.” This was precisely what Stokes tried to explain in the statement released by him.
(Inputs by Gehna Kundra)